Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Alcohol-infused whipped cream + pink fluffy unicorns

Forget Jell-O shots, my friends. Indeed, why go to the trouble when there is now... alcohol-infused whipped cream. Let me just type that again: alcohol-infused whipped cream. An idea so brilliant, it is only a matter of time until the FDA bans it (and some concerned parent gets on my ass about seemingly promoting the stuff, which, in the case of CREAM, contains 15% alcohol by volume and is therefore totally inappropriate for children).

But between us adults, seriously, where was this product when we were in college -- or, to be politically correct (and legal), when we were in our 20s? Can you image the whipped-cream frat parties?

Though, come to think of it, my mother was putting rum in her whipped cream for as far back as I can remember, though I doubt her whipped cream was 30 proof, and I seem to have survived without too much brain damage. Then again, I wasn't squirting cans of the stuff down my gullet every weekend.

Of course, without alcohol-infused caffeinated drinks (or caffeine-infused alcohol) to kick around anymore (though I believe you can still order Irish coffee at many restaurants), the FDA and concerned citizens (aka killjoys) need something to go after, and it's probably just a matter of time until Whipped Lightning (the makers of Whipahol, available in Hazelnut Espresso, German Chocolate, and Caramel Pecan) and CREAM (tagline: Get Whipped), although they are marketed to adults and are only available in liquor or package stores, get pulled.

Until then, please squirt responsibly. Otherwise you might start seeing (and singing about) pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows.

[MAJOR hat tip to FOB Larissa. I love you, (wo)man.]

UPDATED: Got an email from Kyle over at newsy.com asking me to include this video they did about the alcohol-infused whipped cream craze. Happy to oblige, Kyle.

Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by Newsy.com

Sunday, November 28, 2010

And now... we dance! (Yet another '80s flashback blog post)

Anyone get that reference? Anyone? Anyone?

If you guessed "Mike Myers as Dieter from the Saturday Night Live sketch Sprockets," you are absolutely correct!

Anyway, I am, for some reason, in total 1980s flashback mode this weekend, specifically 1980s techno-pop or alternative/new wave British dance music mode. You know, stuff like Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough"...

Bronski Beat's "Why?"...

And "Don't Go" by Yaz (or Yazoo).

If I could have found more videos for Yaz, specifically for "Situation*," which my friend, Emma, used to call "Blue Mouth," I would have posted them all here. I totally (heart) Yaz.

So what music makes you want to put on your your your your boogie shoes? This is the part of the blog post where we leave comments.

UPDATED: Ooo... look what I just found! [H/T to a certain blonde currently living in Bangkok.]

When last I looked for "Mirror in the Bathroom" by The English Beat, I couldn't find it anywhere. Doing happy dance now.

*Note: Many thanks to FOB Dave S. for reminding me that the song was called "Situation," NOT "Move Out," as I had originally written. (Hanging head in shame.)

Friday, November 26, 2010

More like Fat Friday


We cooked. We ate. We cleaned.

Behold, the power -- and yumminess -- of the first J-TWO-O Thanksgiving! (To see what we made, along with the recipes, click here.)

And we have, surprisingly, not a ridiculous amount of leftovers, and not just because we let Felix (our black cat) share in the turkey. But I seriously don't know how people have the energy to go shopping at 3 or 4 or 5 (or even 9 or 10) a.m. the day after Thanksgiving. Us? We can barely move. (At dinner last night my daughter said "Black Friday? More like Fat Friday, though I guess people need to go shopping because now they need a new pair of pants." So young and yet so wise.)

That said, I may waddle wander out and check out some sales later today.

In other big Thanksgiving-related news: The Jets won!!! In regulation!!! 26-10!!! (As predicted, I fell asleep just before the start of the fourth quarter, but the spouse broke the news to me this morning.) Seriously, this may have been the best Thanksgiving ever. Great food. No traffic. No arguing at the dinner table. And the Jets hold onto first place in the AFC East (though I in no way count the Patriots out).

Life is good.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Let's talk turkey (and football)

For the first time in memory, I am spending Thanksgiving (also known as Turkey Day) at home this year. And that's just fine by me. Not that there is anything wrong with spending Thanksgiving away from home.

All of my life (as far back as I can remember), I have enjoyed Thanksgiving in someone else's home (mainly my aunt and uncle's, who put out a great spread but live about 3 hours away and my neck and back can't take the long car trip at this point) or else at some hotel somewhere (typically someplace warmer and/or more exotic than here, often involving chocolate). But I am quite looking forward to making the traditional Thanksgiving meal, in my own kitchen, with the spouse and the kid; eating it right here; and then watching the Jets tackle the Bengals.

Anyway, for those who are interested, here is what we are making for our first Thanksgiving:

Brined and roasted turkey (courtesy of Emeril Lagasse)

Simple and amazing cranberry sauce

Mushroom stuffing (courtesy of Rachael Ray)

Brussel sprouts

And for dessert:

Mark Sanchez
. Oops. I meant Paula Deen's pumpkin cheesecake. ;-)

(Can you tell we watch a LOT of Food Network, can you?)

Speaking of Mark Sanchez -- and the New York Jets -- could you guys please win a football game by the start of the fourth quarter and spare us fans having to make appointments to get fitted for a pacemaker? You boys are killing me. Though considering the amount of turkey I plan on consuming tomorrow, I may not be able to stay awake into the fourth quarter of tomorrow night's Jets vs. Cincinnati Bengals matchup at home (in New Jersey) at New Meadowlands Stadium.

In the meantime, I wish everyone reading this blog post a very happy Thanksgiving. I am grateful -- and will be giving thanks -- for each one of you.

Also, GO JETS!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

TSA gives "fear of flying" whole new meaning

I almost feel bad for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), whose new invasive pat-down procedures (done on passengers who opt out of going through the new full-body scanners now installed at most major airports) have been blog, t-shirt, and late-night comedy fodder for over a week now. After all, the TSA (in theory, and hopefully in practice) is only trying to protect passengers from security threats (i.e., being blown up, shot, knifed, or poisoned by their fellow passengers). Though it seems some TSA agents have taken to their new responsibilities a little too enthusiastically. (For examples, just type in "TSA pat down" into your favorite search engine.)

And while that Saturday Night Live TSA sketch is pretty funny, as are some of the t-shirts I have seen, there is nothing funny about the way some TSA agents have interpreted the new security procedures, inappropriately touching passengers, especially children. (To see TSA guidelines for passenger security checkpoints, click here.)

Sure, no one is forcing passengers to be patted down (unless an agent finds them suspicious or they have the misfortune of being subject to a random security check -- been there, done that). But the alternatives aren't all that appealing either -- i.e., full-body scans (which some feel are akin to virtual strip searches) or older, less effective screening methods -- at least for some people.

Sadly, I think that even with full-body scanners and pat downs, if someone really wants to blow up an airplane or inflict damage, he or she will figure out a way to do it -- and that it's only a matter of time until we hear about some case where someone posted full-body scan pictures of passengers (famous or otherwise) on the Internet and this whole thing really blows up.

But what do you think about the new TSA rules? Are they fair? Would you rather undergo a full-body scan or a pat down? Let me know via the Comments.

UPDATED: You can read the latest on the airport screening controversy here. Btw, I am surprised no one has used the headline "Pistole Whipped" to describe the beating the TSA chief, John S. Pistole, has taken in the court of public opinion and in the media. Also take a gander at this clip on how to protect your privates from prying eyes:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cleaning is fun! (Or how Disney screwed up women)

When I was growing up, and living at home, although we had someone who came in once a week (or every two weeks) to clean, I was expected to make my bed, keep my room clean, do my own laundry, and help out around the house (which, in my case, was an apartment).

Sleep away camp, which was supposed to be "fun" (HA!), was no different. We were expected to make our beds -- every day -- so that a quarter would bounce off the blanket; keep our clothes neatly folded in our trunks; and share in chores, which included sweeping the bunk and cleaning the bathroom. And, unlike Snow White, I didn't have any woodland friends to help me (unless you count my fellow campers, who weren't nearly as cute or as helpful as Snow White's), even though there were plenty up in Maine (where my camp was).

While others shirked their duty, I dutifully cleaned and pitched in because I'm an idiot if I didn't my bunk mates and I would suffer the consequences (ditto back at home, minus the bunk mates). But, even though I was really good at cleaning, I NEVER found it fun, nor did I find myself whistling a happy tune (and not just because I can't whistle).

Fast forward to adulthood -- and to waking up to scenes not so unlike this one from Enchanted (including the pigeons and cockroaches).

Actually watching that scene from Enchanted brings back memories of when I was first dating the spouse, and I would go over to his place and find a stack of dirty dishes lying in as well as next to his sink -- and would immediately start washing them and tidying up (without the help of rats or pigeons or insects!).

Fast forward to yesterday (Saturday) when I found myself, for the second time in about a week, on my hands and knees cleaning the wooden floor in the spouse's new home office, shining the new window, vacuuming the floor, and lint-rolling the carpet, which had just been dropped off from the cleaner, though it still looked like it was covered in cat hair. (Note: To be fair, the spouse did not ask me to do this. My Disney princess training just automatically kicked in.) And don't worry, I only did this after feeding the cats, cleaning the cat boxes, tidying up the kitchen, doing a load of laundry, going to get breakfast, and polishing shoes.

And all the while, as I wiped and polished and tidied, I kept thinking about Cinderella, and that scene (which I couldn't find) where all the cleaning is magically done for her -- and how happy that stupid Snow White seemed when she was cleaning up after those seven slovenly dwarfs, and it suddenly hit me: Disney totally screwed us women! He brainwashed us into thinking that cleaning was FUN and that a way to a man's heart wasn't just by cooking him a nice warm meal (which I also do, though the spouse cooks on the weekends) but washing his clothes and cleaning his house! OMG!!!

Fortunately (or not), my daughter, to whom I never read fairy tales to, nor had any interest in Disney princesses, has no such problem regarding cleaning. In fact, she is against it. Finds it a total waste of time and BORING. Besides, why clean when the cleaning fairy does it for you, while you are at school or asleep?

While I am (somewhat) relieved that she did not inherit my Felix Unger obsession with cleanliness, I do wish she was a little (ahem) less like Oscar Madison. (We have even offered her monetary incentives to regularly clean up, but she has turned them all down, telling us instead to donate the money to those who really need it.) Still, while she may not be cleanliest of children, unlike her mother she is almost always whistling a happy tune.

My mother (who, though in France, still reads my blog posts) reminded me that in addition to Disney, I was also very fond of Free to Be You and Me, which featured Carol Channing singing a little ditty about Housework, the lyrics of which (just click on the hyperlink) are a must read. Wish mom had emailed me this before I spent yesterday morning and this morning cleaning by myself!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why we love/hate Sarah Palin

Ever since she burst onto the national scene (thanks for nothing, John McCain) just over two years ago now, I have been trying to figure out what it is about Sarah Palin that makes some people practically swoon (Sean Hannity) at the sight of her while making others practically bang their head into the nearest wall (the list is too long to include here) the second she opens her mouth. And I think I may have finally figured it out. Sort of.

Herewith, a bulleted list of why people love/hate Sarah Palin.

Why People Love Sarah Palin

* She's very attractive
* She's charismatic
* She's feisty
* She's confident
* She always smiles
* She's unapologetic
* She doesn't make people feel stupid (indeed, quite the contrary)
* She's makes people who were not good students, who hated school and felt looked down upon by "the smart kids," and who quit when things got tough, feel good or better about themselves

Don't get me wrong. These are all fine traits -- great traits even, well, except maybe for that last one -- especially when used for a good cause. Of course, they also describe many cult leaders (and if you don't think that the whole Sarah Palin phenomenon is some kind of cult of personality, take another hit) and some serial killers.

Okay. So I can see why so many people like and admire Sarah Palin (and the Jersey Shore's Snooki, for that matter). Confidence is very attractive, and sexy, especially in stiletto heels and a tight skirt. You betcha. Oh, and if you think looks don't matter, guess again. I guarantee you that if Sarah Palin looked like Sharron Angle or Carly Fiorina no way would she be this popular -- or have her own television show(s). Nor would her daughter, Bristol Palin, be a contestant -- excuse me, finalist -- on Dancing with the Stars. (But that is a different blog post.)

So why do so many people (namely people who attended and graduated from just one college, which they worked really hard to get into and graduate from, who value and respect book learning and intellectual curiosity, and look down on liars and quitters) hate her? And no, that is not a rhetorical question (though on second thought...).

Why People Hate Sarah Palin

* She's feisty
* She's charismatic
* She's unapologetic
* She's confident
* She always smiles
* She's very attractive
* She makes people who were good students, who pride themselves on being informed and accurate and intellectually curious, want to pull their hair out
* She's like that pretty, popular mean girl in high school, who was good at sports and dated the captain of the football team, thought studying and getting As were for losers, who wouldn't give a nerd the time of day, and made other girls who weren't as pretty or popular feel bad about themselves (especially if they were good students)

Though many Palin supporters would simply say -- or rather shout -- "You're just jealous!" And that may be true. But I'll tell you this, I would rather have a smart, confident, unapologetic woman like Hillary Clinton be President of the United States than a proudly ignorant, confident, unapologetic woman like Sarah Palin -- any day.

UPDATED: Et tu, Fox News? (And you thought Alaska was cold.)

Love this paragraph from Frank Rich's latest column -- on Palin:
[L]ogic doesn’t apply to Palin. What might bring down other politicians only seems to make her stronger: the malapropisms and gaffes, the cut-and-run half-term governorship, family scandals, shameless lying and rapacious self-merchandising. In an angry time when America’s experts and elites all seem to have failed, her amateurism and liabilities are badges of honor. She has turned fallibility into a formula for success.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cat named Rabbit adopts pup named Bambi

Warning: This blog post contains excessive cuteness.

I first heard about this mom-cat-adopts-orphaned-puppy story a few days ago (on the Weather Channel of all places), and wanted to share this great feel-good story, but I couldn't find embeddable video -- until now.

Meet Mrs. Rabbit, a beautiful gray long-haired cat, her two kittens, Thumper and Friend Owl, and the orphaned Chihuahua/Shih Tzu puppy she adopted, Bambi, while at the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

You can learn more about Mrs. Rabbit, her two kittens, and Bambi the puppy, as well as see additional video of them, here.

Btw, per the Cleveland APL site, while Bambi has since been spoken for, Mrs. Rabbit and her two kittens are still looking for a home. So if any of you reside in the Cleveland area, please consider adopting this remarkable cat and her kittens.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The coolest show on TV?

No, I am not referring to Sarah Palin's Alaska on TLC, the premiere of which this past Sunday broke TLC ratings records.

I am referring to the ingenious Phineas and Ferb over on the Disney Channel.

Go ahead and make fun of me, but I love Phineas and Ferb -- a show about imagination, ingenuity, and the importance of family and friends, which also happens to have the best soundtrack of any show (kid or adult, animated or live action) currently on TV.

And I know I am not the only parent who appreciates Phineas and Ferb's wit, positive message, and awesome music. (Seriously, I am this close to downloading "Alien Heart" and "Gitchee Gitchee Goo" onto my iPod.)

Heck, WIRED magazine, a magazine for ADULTS (albeit adult geeks), just published a feature article about Phineas and Ferb creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh.

So next time you find yourself complaining that there's nothing good on TV, check out Phineas and Ferb. (New episode airs this Friday at 9 p.m. ET!) And you, too, will find yourself saying "Curse you, Perry the Platypus!"

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Joy of Football

Ah Sunday in November, when a middle-aged woman's fancy turns to... football... and poetry.

How do I love football? Let me count the ways...
(With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

How do I love football? Let me count the ways.
I love football to the first down and touch down or field goal
Each drive can reach, as the ball is passed or run down the field
From the end zone of the opposing team and the ideal runback.
I love football to the level of each Sunday's
Most heated game, by sun and stadium-light.
I love football freely, as men strive for touchdowns;
I love football purely, as they return from punts.
I love football with a passion put to use
In shouting for my teams, and with a chilled beer.
I love football with a love I seemed to lose
When my teams lost, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if the football gods so choose,
I shall but love thee better after my team wins the Super Bowl.

The Jets Fan's Prayer (Cleveland Edition)

Our Jets team, which art in Cleveland,
hallowed be thy run game.
Thy defense come.
Thy will be done on the Browns,
as it was on the Patriots and Bills.
Give us this Sunday our next big win,
and forgive us our sacks and penalties,
as we block and intercept those who seek to score against us.
Lead us not into defeat,
but deliver us to the Super Bowl.

O Giants! My Giants! (With apologies to Walt Whitman)

O GIANTS! My Giants! your fearful rivalry is done;
The team has weather'd every sack, the prize we sought is won;
The Cowboys are here, the shouts I hear, the fans all exulting,
While Eli takes the steady snap, the offense grim and daring:
O hut! hut! hut!
Soon they'll be bleeding drops of Cowboy silver,
When on the field another Cowboy pass lies,
Fumbled yet again.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Yet another reason to love Steve Martin (especially if you are an Atheist)

Some love Steve Martin as that wild and crazy guy from Saturday Night Live.

Others love Steve Martin as the singer of "King Tut."

Still others love Steve Martin for his all-natural Penis Beauty Cream.

And there are those who love Steve Martin for his amazing bluegrass banjo playing. (Seriously, is there nothing this man cannot do?)

Now, God love him, Steve Martin is courting another group, Atheists, with the first ever gospel song created just for Atheists, called "Atheists Don't Have No Songs," performed by Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers on Austin City Limits. (Hat tip to the Huffington Post.) I swear, watching this converted me -- to a Steve Martin fan.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Who says cats aren't affectionate?

I am always perplexed when people state that cats are simply not affectionate (like dogs are). Puh-lease. If my two cats were any more affectionate, I would have to buy a lint roller company.

I'll give you that some cats are not as friendly as dogs, preferring to go about their own business without any human intervention. But not affectionate? I can't get my cats to leave me alone. Indeed, if I do not constantly pet Flora, she will take her right (or left) paw and gently tap me on the shoulder or rub up against me or sit on top of my work and block my monitor until I pet her (some more).

And I am such a softy that I don't have the heart to wake up Felix (my black cat) when he's curled up in my lap. Which, despite the title of the video, is why I often spend hours working at the computer without getting up (or eating or showering) and probably have clots in both legs that would surely kill me if I did not work out regularly.

But despite the inconvenience, I wouldn't trade my two cats for anything. They're purr-fect.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Of bras and panties and going Commando

[Alternate titles: Miracle on 64th Street or Making Mountains Out of Mole Hills]

Ever since reading this article (about the A-cup crowd) and this other article (about finding the perfect bra) in The New York Times back in September, I have been dying to go see Linda The Bra Lady, in New York City, and have her team of expert bra fitters work their magic on me (or certain parts thereof), just like she did on Live with Regis and Kelly:

So, for my birthday, I made an appointment to go to Linda The Bra Lady's store, with my friend, G. And lo and behold, right there on 64th Street and Lexington Avenue in New York City, a miracle occurred. For how else can I possibly explain my ability to suddenly wear a C-cup (without the benefit of plastic surgery or pregnancy) -- and a form fitting C-cup at that? It was a miracle, I tell you -- or else the work of some very marketing-savvy bra manufacturers. (Evil, evil bra marketers.)

Whatever the reason, being professionally fitted (i.e., smooshed, or should I say, artfully arranged?) into one gorgeous bra after another, all of which looked great on, made me feel like a true C-cup -- a really pretty, sexy C-cup. Note: Being fitted for a bra -- or being a bra fitter for that matter -- is not for the faint of heart (or breast) or the modest. Without going into too much detail, let me just say, I have a much greater appreciation for how butchers manage to squeeze sausage into a casing and get it to look so good.

Sadly, while the bra fitting -- and acquisition -- was a great success (I totally heart you, Simone Perele!), I had no such luck with panties. Sure, lacy thongs and silky boy shorts look great -- on a hanger, or a Victoria's Secret model, both of which, when last I checked, didn't have buttocks. On me? Not so much.

And there was no way I was going Commando, a product no doubt inspired by Britney Spears, which apparently is the latest rage -- with boxes of the "invisible underwear" prominently displayed in front of the register at Linda The Bra Lady's.

Note to Her Look Enterprises: If I can see them, they are not invisible. (Her Look markets the Commando simultaneously as "invisible underwear" and "better than nothing.")

Despite a momentary underwear low, though, I consider the outing a tremendous success. (Did I mention that I am now a C-cup, albeit only in some marketing bizarro world.) I only wish Linda's also sold swimsuits.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Return of the Swedish Bikini Team

They're ba-ack. Well, sort of. Remember those Old Milwaukee beer commercials featuring the Swedish Bikini Team?

And you thought it didn't get any better than that.

Well, Columbia Sportswear has brought back the Swedish Bikini Team, the real Swedish Bikini Team, to hawk their new Omni-Heat jackets. And the gals are better and more Swedish than before!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mourning in America

Yeah, yeah, I know I'm probably (definitely) not the first one to use that headline (though I haven't seen it this morning - yet). But it seemed an appropriate title for the morning after Tuesday's midterm elections, in which the Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives, though not the Senate. Not that it will make much (if any) difference.

And speaking of "the morning after," for some reason, all morning long I have had Maureen McGovern singing "The Morning After" playing in (with?) my head. Which, though very unpleasant, seems incredibly appropriate since I just discovered that "The Morning After" was the theme song for The Poseidon Adventure.

Indeed, The Poseidon Adventure could in many ways serve as a metaphor for what George W. Bush and the Republicans (and/or mortgage bankers and/or investment bankers/hedge fund managers) did to our economically healthy ship of state. I only hope President Obama can somehow manage to right it before more livelihoods are lost. Oh, and before some of you get on my ass (or blog) telling me how Obama is responsible for this mess, please to be reading this and this and definitely this (which I love).

Also, for those of you wringing your hands about yesterday's midterm elections, I highly recommend this post from Rumproast, sarcastically titled "2010 Is Nothing Like 1994, Really."

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Continuing Adventures of Felix the Cat

I realize only die-hard cat fans and/or procrastinators and/or my immediate family members will read this blog post and watch these videos. But I don't care. A cat owner's gotta do what a cat owner with a video camera and a YouTube account has got to do. (Also, it's been a really crappy day and it was either post cute Felix videos or down the bottle of Smirnoff vodka chilling in the freezer.)

Presenting "The Continuing Adventures of Felix the Cat," aka our cat, Felix.

First up, "Felix vs. the Yogurt Container," a gripping tale of one black cat's addiction to Stonyfield Farm French Vanilla Yogurt.

(I love how Felix's purr reverberates against the yogurt container.)

Next up, "Felix vs. the Flat Panel TV," the poignant tale of a black cat who dreamed of becoming a tightrope walker in the circus -- only to have his dreams (and paws) dashed by a flat panel HGTV.

And finally, "Felix Takes a Licking, and Keeps on Licking," or one black cat's eternal quest for fresh tap water. (I laughed, I cried.)

To be continued...